16 Best Korean Podcasts for Beginners to Advanced Learners

Learning how to read and write Hangul is definitely a critical part of learning Korean. For this purpose, using mobile apps, Korean books, and signing up for online courses will do just the trick. However, a lot of language learners want to learn how to speak Korean. In this case, improving your listening skills is a must. This is where listening to Korean podcasts comes in handy.

Editor’s note: To reach fluency faster, combine these podcasts with other resources, such as apps, websites, online tutors, videos and YouTube channels. For your convenience, we’ve compiled an epic list of 50+ Korean learning resources, including FREE ones. Read it, save it, and share it!

Why should you learn with a Korean podcast?

There are a variety of resources you can use if you want to learn Korean. So why listen to podcasts to learn Korean?

  • It’s time-efficient and convenient. The main draw of listening is the fact that you don’t have to sit in front of a screen to do it. You don’t have to read anything. You only need to listen and you can do it with other tasks, provided that the said task will not take your focus off the podcast you’re listening to. Learning on your commute, or while at the gym, or while doing chores is possible. It’s definitely a good use of your extra time, too.
  • It’s free. All Korean podcasts listed below are free to listen to and download on either Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Player FM. You may have to go through a few ads here or there but that’s nothing compared to the quality content you’re getting for free.
  • It helps you improve your speaking skills. The best way to learn how to speak Korean is to listen to native and fluent speakers speak the language. Listening to Korean pronunciation, syllable stress, and intonation trains your ears. Repeating what you hear is also the fastest way to get speaking.
  • It exposes you to Korean culture. Most Korean podcasts and Korean language lessons give sample sentences, dialogues, and grammar rules based on real-life scenarios. This helps you understand Korean in a cultural context, which then gives you an in-depth comprehension of the language.

Convinced that you need podcasts for an easy Korean learning journey? Let’s get down to our list, shall we?

Best Korean podcasts for beginners

1. Real-Life Korean Conversations for Beginners

Real-Life Korean Conversations for Beginners

One of the top Korean podcasts on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, Real-Life Korean Conversations for Beginners is based on the popular book of the same title by learning hub Talk To Me in Korean. This Korean podcast features short, natural conversations between native Korean speakers, broken down and explained in English at the latter part of the episode. The dialogues involve realistic and common day-to-day topics and situations so you’ll learn the lingo needed to talk to a Korean speaker.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Are looking for informative but fun Korean podcasts for beginners
  • Are a beginner who prefers real-life conversational topics
  • Like the book of the same title but would rather listen than read

2. Learn Korean With David

Learn Korean With David

This is one of the most beginner-friendly Korean podcasts on Spotify. With over a hundred episodes as of writing, you will not run out of things to learn. The first few episodes go through basic Korean expressions like ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye,’ and ‘thank you’ and soon progress into commonly used phrases and topics like shopping, holidays, and money. These are definitely useful when talking to locals and native Korean speakers.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Prefer bite-sized Korean lessons, as each episode is usually just 5 minutes long
  • Want a good variety of daily topics and even Korean slang
  • Are looking for speaking lessons with a cultural context

3. Learn Korean: Korean Survival Phrases

Learn Korean: Korean Survival Phrases

Albeit discontinued, this podcast by KoreanClass101 comes in handy if you’re a beginner. There are over 50 short episodes that discuss simple, basic phrases like “Where is the bathroom?” and “Thank you” that are very useful when traveling to Korea.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Are thinking of traveling to Korea
  • Have not studied Korean but simply want to master basic phrases without getting into the details of grammar

4. Learn Korean by KBS World Radio

Learn Korean by KBS World Radio

Produced by South Korean broadcasting company KBS World, Learn Korean teaches short dialogues that you’d encounter upon arrival in Korea, as well as phrases you can use during your stay. There are two levels of difficulty although both are apt for beginners.

What’s great about this platform is that the lessons are available in different languages – English, Arabic, Chinese, German, Spanish, and so on. The only downside is that the website is a bit dated and a little hard to navigate. The audio recordings can also sound too much like TTS for some.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Want to equip yourself with basic Korean conversation phrases and expressions
  • Don’t mind navigating on a not-so-user-friendly website
  • Speak a language other than English, or are learning another language and want to learn Korean alongside this language. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

Best Korean podcasts for intermediate learners

5. SpongeMind

SpongeMind

One of the most popular Korean podcasts, SpongeMind is a bilingual podcast hosted by Jeremy, a fluent Korean-speaking American, and Jonson, a native Korean who speaks fluent English.

Topics are diverse and not limited to language and basic expressions. Each episode is recorded in both English and Korean, allowing you to listen first in English to familiarize yourself with the subject matter and context. Then you can listen to it again in Korean as part of your practice.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Don’t mind listening to the hosts casually talking about diverse topics that may or may not be related to Korea
  • Have the time to listen through varying lengths of episodes in both English and Korean
  • Have prior Korean listening experience and a good grasp of the language

6. The Legit Korean

The Legit Korean

Host Ari Lee, born and raised in South Korea, created this podcast to teach Korean and to practice her English. It’s one of the best Korean podcasts if you want to learn to speak Korean while also gaining deep insights into the country’s culture.

At the end of every episode, Ari gives a speaking assignment to her listeners and encourages them to send voice recordings to her via Instagram. She then plays these recordings on her next podcast episode. This way, she gets to feature her listeners, correct them if there’s a mistake, and encourage other listeners, too!

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Are looking for an interactive Korean podcast that implores you to not just listen but also answer and speak in Korean
  • Like learning Korean in a cultural context
  • Would like to know more about current events in Korea

7. Iyagi: Natural Korean Conversations For Learners

Iyagi: Natural Korean Conversations For Learners

Produced by the team behind Talk To Me In Korean, this Korean podcast has been discontinued in 2018. However, it’s still one of the most helpful Korean podcasts if you’re past the beginner level. With this podcast, you get to listen and follow along natural conversations between native Korean speakers. Topics include daily life, work, school, travel, and hobbies.

The podcast is entirely in Korean but you can download the transcripts and translations so you can follow along more easily.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Want to simply listen to native speakers speak in Korean naturally
  • Have the time to listen and read transcripts at the same time
  • Have a good grasp of Hangul and just need more listening and speaking practice

8. The Motivate Korean Podcast

The Motivate Korean Podcast

From the same team behind SpongeMind, The Motivate Korean Podcast aims to encourage serious learners of the Korean language to keep going. The podcast discusses the Korean learning process while sharing real-life experiences. More importantly, this podcast gives tips on how to stay motivated and how to improve your Korean skills by changing the way you think about the language.

Although the entire podcast is in English, this is particularly helpful for intermediate learners who need more encouragement to get to that next level.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Have advanced in your Korean learning journey but somehow feel stuck and unmotivated to go on
  • Want to hear stories from fellow language learners
  • Need affirmation that yes, learning Korean may be difficult but it is worth it

Best Korean podcasts for advanced learners

9. Learn Korean and Korean Culture

Learn Korean and Korean Culture

A fairly new podcast as of writing, Learn Korean and Korean Culture is a podcast hosted by Jerry, a Korean-American who has lived in both America and Korea. The podcast discusses Korean culture like food, holidays, and K-pop in a mix of English and Korean. Jerry provides a vocabulary list for every episode so you can review it after the session.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Like short but meaty Korean podcast episodes that dissects various cultural aspects of Korea
  • Can already understand complex discussions in Korean or are looking to challenge yourself
  • Want to expand your Korean vocabulary

10. Talk To Me In 100% Korean

Talk To Me In 100% Korean

Listeners of Iyagi: Natural Korean Conversations For Learners rejoice! The team behind Talk To Me in Korean and Iyagi are back with another podcast for advanced learners. In Talk To Me In 100% Korean, TTMIK duo Kyeong-Eun and Hyunwoo have conversations in 100% Korean on various interesting topics. Transcripts and translations of the conversations are available on the Talk To Me In Korean website.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Already feel confident about your Korean listening and comprehension skills
  • Eager to learn natural spoken Korean
  • Want to improve your Korean listening comprehension while also broadening your Korean vocabulary

11. Breathe in Korean

Breathe in Korean

Fluency means ‘living’ the language and with this Korean podcast, you will be doing exactly that.

Breathe in Korean is a podcast where you can listen to inspirational quotes from selected books in both English and Korean. It’s educational, inspiring, and relaxing at the same time. Plus points if you’re into books!

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Are an advanced learner who needs more exposure and listening practice
  • Are looking for the most relaxing, Zen-like, Korean listening resource
  • Love books and want to hear your favorite books spoken in Korean

12. Korean Listening Practice

Korean Listening Practice

Technically not just a podcast, Korean Listening Practice is an app that contains lots of audio content for Korean learners. You’ll hear native speakers demonstrating common phrases and correct pronunciation. Difficulty levels range from beginning to advanced. Hours of listening comprehension and practice resources, including daily news and downloadable podcasts, are available for you.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Want all your Korean listening lessons in one handy app
  • Have strong foundation in Hangul
  • Want to expand your Korean vocabulary

Best Korean podcasts to learn grammar

13. Talk To Me In Korean – Core Korean Grammar

Talk To Me In Korean – Core Korean Grammar

If you will download only one podcast to study Korean grammar, it has to be this one. One of the most popular Korean podcasts, Talk To Me In Korean – Core Korean Grammar mimics the free bite-sized lessons found on the TTMIK website and the grammar textbooks.

Topics range from grammar lessons to casual conversations on interesting topics such as food, traveling, and working. The team keeps on producing new content so you can be sure that you’ll always get fresh and relevant episodes.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Are a beginner with no prior background in Korean
  • Are an intermediate or advanced learner who needs to brush up on Korean grammar
  • Want a strong foundation in Korean grammar while strengthening your conversational skills

14. Essential Korean

Essential Korean

Hosted by Kay, a veteran Korean teacher and author of several Korean language books, Essential Korean focuses on improving speaking skills and explaining the nuances of the language. It doesn’t overwhelm you with grammar rules right away. Later episodes do go into grammar but are often explained in context with real-life sample sentences.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Want an in-depth explanation of the Korean language with cultural context
  • Prefers a teacher who asks questions and accepts questions (which she features in the next episodes)
  • Like getting detailed grammar explanations

15. Learn Korean | KoreanClass101

Learn Korean | KoreanClass101

The KoreanClass101 team is another group who is passionate about producing content for Korean language learners. The podcast comes in both audio and video format and feature discussions on basic phrases, Korean culture, pronunciation guides, and even tips on how to effectively learn Korean.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Enjoy quick Korean grammar lessons that you can easily squeeze in between tasks
  • Are looking to build confidence and familiarity with Korean but aren’t ready for more comprehensive resources
  • Want to build your Korean vocabulary

16. Twinkling Korean

Twinkling Korean

Despite being discontinued, Twinkling Korean has around 100 episodes so you still have a lot to go on with. Each episode typically features a Korean speaker and an English speaker having a conversation that alternates between both languages. A recap of words used and grammar rules are casually explained along the way. It may seem confusing and may take some getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself enjoying the conversations and expanding your vocabulary, too.

You should listen to this Korean podcast if you:

  • Want to improve your Korean fluency
  • Want to hear conversational Korean, and some slang while at it
  • Prefer casual Korean grammar lessons

Handy tips for learning through Korean podcasts

Korean podcasts are a great way to keep yourself exposed to spoken Korean content. But whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced learner, your progress and fluency ultimately depend on your determination. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Listen frequently. Whichever podcasts you choose from the list above, you will gain more from it if you listen regularly. Make it part of your daily routine. As most podcasts only publish content weekly or monthly, you can interchange podcasts. What matters is constant exposure.
  • Practice what you hear. The goal behind listening is comprehension and improved speaking skills… so speak! Whether you do this by speaking to a native speaker, a fellow learner, or to yourself, it doesn’t matter as much as the act of speaking itself. Practicing what you learn helps you retain the information longer.
  • Don’t rely on Korean podcasts alone. While podcasts are great in helping you improve your listening and speaking skills, the Korean language is a holistic discipline that requires different skills, including reading and writing. For this, you will need to check out other Korean learning resources to complement the methods you are already using.

Now you’re equipped with this list of Korean podcasts plus tips. Time to listen and get speaking Korean! Stay motivated and do comment if you know of other podcasts that we might have missed. Enjoy learning!

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